Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Shazam! #1 Review

Just Magic

Written By: Geoff Johns
Art By: Dale Eaglesham, Mike Atiyeh, Rob Leigh, Mayo "Sen" Naito,
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: December 5, 2018

I've been waiting for this title ever since we started getting Billy Batson's origin as backups in the early Justice League issues in the New 52.  Somehow a series never manifested from there and I was relegated to only enjoying Shazam in his limited role as a Justice League member after Forever Evil, but even there all he ever really did was play games with Cyborg.  Jump to a bunch of years later and we finally have something to look forward to in this first issue and with this, hopefully we can start putting some lighthearted fun back into DC....... maybe all it took all along was a simple magic word.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

I just want to put this out there right away...... This is pretty much everything that I wanted from this series.  That's right, Negative Nancy Eric Shea is having himself a ball while diving into the Shazam Family and the only real problem that I have from this, which I'm sure will be corrected by the end of this first arc, there aren't any names for these characters.  See, we have six members of the Shazam Family, which at least we have this group calling themselves that by the end of the issue, but we don't have names for the six members.......... even Shazam.  It's been a thing that he's been calling himself Shazam now for a long while...... which has bothered a bunch of purist Captain Marvel fans, but in this it seems his magic word can no longer be his name or for some reason he's having trouble saying his name without just turning back into Billy Batson.  So yeah, that's a bit of a problem and another for me is remembering the other kids' names......... It's been awhile since Flashpoint.  After a bunch of readings or just continuing to read this series I'm sure I'll pick them up besides for the main ones like Mary and Freddy of course, but I just didn't feel like the other names were stressed enough to really get them ingrained in my mind....... Maybe that's just me.  

Names aside, this does a decent job to acclimate you to the world of Billy Batson and his foster family, which means more to him than anything and even has a decent backup to firmly get you in the know with Mary Marvel's background too.  Not only that, but it starts up the adventure, while also giving you a bit of drama that will affect our hero outside of his superhero adventures, while looking amazing the entire way through.  I love the art in this issue and I hope beyond hope that this artistic team continues on this title for the long haul because after reading this issue I don't ever want to see these characters look any less than they do here because that would be a travesty.

All in all, this premiere issue of Shazam! wowed the hell out of me and gave me the lighthearted family feels that I've been looking for in DC Comics, while still maintaining that we're in a serious world that exists within the rest of the DC Universe.  It's an amazing balancing act that Geoff Johns nailed completely and I can't wait to get my hands on the next issue because I can completely see this becoming my favorite title going forward as long as it maintains this level of quality in both writing and art that we got here.

Bits and Pieces:

Leave your "Captain Marvel or nothing" hangups at the door and get on this series as soon as possible because it's just what the doctor ordered.  The art and story came together perfectly and already I'm excited for what's to come next. If this issue is any indication of what's to come, I can definitely see this becoming my favorite title from DC Comics.  The Magic Is Back.



The Wandering mind said...

Great Review.I loved this first issue. There was a time where I thought Geoff John would never return to this story but here we are. Given the quality of this issue it was worth the wait.

Jim Werner said...

It is so good, especially for those waiting for him to get back to it...felt like a Rebirth!

Jolly Drew said...

Even a in a 9/10 review Eric Shea uses the words "good" and "great" zero times. The word "decent?"...2 times. Come on Eric! Show us the loooove

Eric Shea said...

I don't like to wear my heart on my sleeve. I've been hurt too many times Drew....... Love me!

Jaye Raine said...

I loved the art in the backup about Mary. So adorable and sweet. I would love to read a shoujo magical girl series about her and Darla falling in love

Jim Werner said...

that backup art is 100% the stuff of my dreams!!! I could read anything with art like that

Nick said...

This is definitely worthy of high marks. I hadn't thought much about the character names, but you are right that some were glossed over in this issue. I did feel we got a good idea of their personalities at least. This series is off to a promising start. I'm almost disappointed that Dale Eaglesham's and Mike Atiyeh's art looked so great here, because I worry it might get more rushed later. Hopefully not.